ESRC North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership Standard PhD Studentship Award: A class-based analysis of (former) Regular and Reserve UK Armed Forces personnel


The studentship will be supervised by Dr Ross McGarryDr Kirsty Morrin and Dr Peter Campbell, based in the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology at the University of Liverpool.

Surprisingly little is known about the classed lives of (former) Regular and Reserve UK Armed Forces personnel. This studentship therefore presents a unique opportunity to study the lives of this population using novel data sources, alongside the emergence of key policy initiatives with similar aims, as documented in the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan 2022-2024.

Using a combination of open access secondary data sources, linked Administrative Data Research (ADR) datasets, and Census 2021 responses, this project will undertake a class-based analysis of the lives of (former) Regular and Reserve UK Armed Forces personnel. The purpose is to investigate the socio-demographic compositions and socio-economic statuses of this population in relation to education, employment and earnings in order to establish how their lives can be critically understood in relation to notions of social class.

Eligibility Criteria: Candidates must have qualifications of the standard of a good undergraduate honours degree in a relevant subject at first or upper second class level by October 2023. Current undergraduate students can apply during the final year of their degree, prior to completion, and will need to provide interim transcripts to support their application. Please see the ESRC Standard Studentship Guidance for fully eligibility criteria.

For more information about the department, see the Department of Sociology, Social Policy, and Criminology webpages.

How to Apply

Candidates should prepare:

• An academic CV (max. 2 pages, minimum font size 11pt)
• Two references (one of which should be from your most recent academic tutor/supervisor)
• A copy of first degree (and Master’s degree if already acquired) certificates and transcripts (or anticipated grade)
• A statement of intent (maximum 1000 words) outlining your vision for this PhD project and your suitability for the studentship. In particular, applicants should highlight what previous skills/experience in data analysis or quantitative methods they might bring to the project, and how their background and expertise related to the topics addressed in this project would help inform their approach to the research (NB: Candidates do not necessarily need to have significant existing expertise in data analysis, as training will be provided during the early stages of this project).

For further information on the application process, or to submit applications, contact quoting reference ‘class analysis of the UK Armed Forces’. Informal enquiries about the project can be sent to Dr Ross McGarry (

Applications must be submitted before 5pm on 24th March 2023. Shortlisted candidates will be notified as soon as practicable thereafter, and interviews will be held week commencing 17th April. Travel costs for interviewees will be reimbursed.

The University of Liverpool values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity. For this studentship, we welcome people from backgrounds that are underrepresented in academic institutions. As a result of this focus, the project team will be happy to answer enquiries ahead of the final submission deadline.


Open to students worldwide

Funding information

Funded studentship

Funding: Funded students, whether UK or international, will be eligible for an award which includes a stipend to support living costs (currently £17,668 per annum - 2023/24 rates TBC), and fees paid at the standard UKRI home fee rate (currently £4,596 per annum - 2023/24 rates TBC) for four years.